An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | May 24, 2024

New commander at helm of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam

By Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir, U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia / Sector Guam

Capt. Rob Kistner took command of U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia Sector Guam from Capt. Nick Simmons in a change of command ceremony at Victor Pier in Apra Harbor, Guam, on May 23, 2024.

Rear Adm. Michael Day, U.S. Coast Guard 14th District commander, presided over the ceremony.

Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, Capt. Simmons is a 2002 U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduate with a degree in government, emphasizing international relations. After three years as the commander, he leaves Guam to rejoin the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters staff as the chief of the Office of Budget and Programs (CG-82).

Under his leadership since June 2021, the team robustly embodied the guiding principles of 'People Fundamentally, Unit Resolutely, Mission Relentlessly,' demonstrating substantial operational capability and regional collaboration. Under effective leadership, they responded to 1,593 search and rescue operations, saving 548 lives and nearly $2 million in property while providing crucial non-maritime medical evacuations in the Northern Mariana Islands. Additionally, the team expanded by 40 percent to support new Fast Response Cutters (FRCs) and the establishment of Base Guam.

A core focus has been on enhancing partnerships with Compact of Free Association nations by signing and exercising two enhanced bilateral agreements. This initiative, alongside the first operational patrols under a new agreement with Papua New Guinea, significantly advanced regional maritime security and reinforced commitments to safety and good maritime governance across the Pacific. The FRCs notably increased the U.S. Coast Guard's Pacific presence and impact, strengthening regional ties and patrolling over 60,000 nautical miles annually. These efforts include delivering tens of thousands of pounds of aid and conducting shared operations and exercises with 10 Pacific nations and local, federal, and joint force partners.

The sector's prompt and efficient response to Super Typhoon Mawar in May 2023 highlighted operational excellence. Quick action ensured the restoration of critical infrastructure and the continuity of Guam's port operations—essential to the regional economy. The team excelled in over 1,300 exercises, exams, boardings, responses, and investigations annually, bolstering the maritime transportation system and environmental stewardship, crucial for sustaining Guam as a strategic Pacific hub. Through robust strategic communication and community engagement, the team increased its visibility. It affirmed the U.S. Coast Guard's pivotal role in promoting peace, maritime safety, security, and regional cooperation, further establishing its reputation as a leader committed to excellence and service in the Pacific.

Capt. Rob Kistner joins the Forces Micronesia team after serving as the chief of Prevention for the U.S. Coast Guard 14th District, where he adeptly oversaw maritime safety and security operations across 12.2 million square miles, covering 21 maritime nations and more than half of the world's shipping. He also supported Sector Honolulu, Forces Micronesia, their sub-units, and USCGC Juniper (WLB 201) and USCGC Sequoia (WLB 215) in enhancing maritime incident prevention, supply chain resiliency, and governance. He will be the interim commander until the Fall of 2024 when Capt. Jessica Worst is scheduled to arrive from her current assignment on the U.S. Northern Command staff.

Before his role in the Pacific, Capt. Kistner, a native of Rochester, New York, shaped his expertise in Coast Guard operations through diverse assignments. He served aboard USCGC Seneca (WMEC 906) as an engineer officer in training and damage control assistant, led the Facility Inspections and Deep Draft Vessel Inspections Branches at Sector Baltimore, and managed regulatory compliance as Inspections Division chief at Sector Boston.

As deputy commander of Sector Western Great Lakes, he oversaw a team of 1,137 members across 15 sub-units, covering over 1,000 miles of shoreline from Vermillion, Ohio, to the St. Lawrence Seaway. His staff roles include positions at the Leadership Development Center, the Coast Guard Academy, and Coast Guard Headquarters, enhancing his experience with workforce development and honing his strategic insight.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in operations research, a master's certificate in environmental management, and a Master of Science in applied mathematics. His dedication and leadership have earned him multiple awards, including three Meritorious Service Medals and three Coast Guard Commendation Medals.


About U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam:

U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam is critical in promoting Pacific maritime safety, security, and environmental stewardship. With a primary presence in Guam and Saipan and over 300 members across Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the team maintains a strong U.S. presence in the Micronesia sub-region and adjacent areas, closely tied to local communities. Their capabilities are integral to executing a wide range of U.S. Coast Guard missions, from protecting the maritime economy and the environment to defending maritime borders and saving those in peril.




Secretary of Defense Travel to Singapore, Cambodia, and France
Graphic intended for use as a placeholder for Statements and Press Releases without accompanying imagery.
May 24, 2024 - Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III will depart next week for a trip to Singapore, Cambodia, and France...

U.S. Marines and Sailors with MRF-D 24.3 arrive in Townsville, QLD, for Exercise Southern Jackaroo
U.S. Marines and Sailors with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin 24.3 board a Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, NT, Australia, May 23, 2024. Members of MRF-D 24.3 deployed to Townsville Field Training Area, QLD, Australia to participate in Exercise Southern Jackaroo 24, a multilateral combined arms exercise held with capabilities and personnel from the Australian Army, U.S. Army and Marine Corps, Papua New Guinea Defence Force, and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force to increase interoperability with Allies and partners. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Earik Barton)
May 24, 2024 - U.S. Marines and Sailors with Marine Rotational Force Darwin 24.3 arrive in Townsville, QLD, for Exercise Southern Jackaroo, May 23, 2024...

Tempest Express Builds Multinational Crisis Response Capabilities
May 23, 2024 - Mongolia, the United States, and other global partners participated in the Tempest Express 39 multinational workshop in Ulaanbaatar, May 14-22, 2024. Tempest Express 39 builds upon continued coordination of previous...

USINDOPACOM PMTEC Commercial Industry Day
240517-N-ZZ099-1011 (17 MAY 2024) U.S. Indo-Pacific Command 's Pacific Multi-Domain Training Experimentation Capability (PMTEC) program office, led by Dr. Andre Stridiron recently hosted an Industry Engagement event which drew over 160 representatives from nearly 60 companies in attendance.
May 23, 2024 - U.S. Indo-Pacific Command 's Pacific Multi-Domain Training Experimentation Capability (PMTEC) program office, led by Dr. Andre Stridiron recently hosted an Industry Engagement event which drew over 160 representatives from...

First US Army Reserve and Philippine Army Reserve Subject Matter Expert Exchange
U.S. Army Reserve 1st Sgt. David Albert, assigned to 3rd Mobilization Support Group, facilitates a block of instruction on personal data sheets to members of the Philippine Army Reserve during Exercise Balikatan 24 at Echague Isabela, Philippines, April 10, 2024. BK 24 is an annual exercise between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the U.S. military designed to strengthen bilateral interoperability, capabilities, trust, and cooperation built over decades of shared experiences. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Maj. Gene Espinoza)
May 22, 2024 - U.S. Army Soldiers from the 3rd Mobilization Support Group, held the first-ever Army Reserve Subject Matter Expert Exchanges with the Philippine Army Reserve during Exercise Salaknib and Exercise Balikatan 24 in April, 2024...